Terrane processes at the margins of Gondwana: introduction
The process of terrane accretion is vital to the understanding of the formation of continental crust. Accretionary orogens affect over half of the globe and have a distinctively different evolution to Wilson-type orogens. It is increasingly evident that accretionary
orogenesis has played a significant role in the formation of the continents. The Pacific-margin of Gondwana preserves a major orogenic belt, termed here the
'Australides', which was an active site of terrane accretion from Neoproterozoic to Late Mesozoic times, and comparable in scale to the Rockies from Mexico to Alaska, or the Variscan-Appalachian orogeny. The New Zealand sector of this orogenic belt was one of the birthplaces of terrane theory and the Australide orogeny overall continues to be an important testing ground for terrane studies. This volume summarizes the history and principles of terrane theory and presents 16 new works that review and synthesize the current state of knowledge for the Gondwana margin, from Australia through New Zealand and Antarctica to South America, examining the evolution of the whole Gondwana margin through time.